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  1. Japanese publication 4Gamer have conducted an interview with Tai Yasue, the co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, to discuss Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX following its appearance at E3 2014. Here, Yasue details the E3 2014 gameplay demo, goes in-depth into the graphical and sound improvements to the titles within the collection, describes the team's relationship with Disney, and lastly confirms that Kingdom Hearts III will conclude the first stage of the Kingdom Hearts story, the 'Dark Seeker Chronicles'. Our translator goldpanner has created a full translation of the interview for us, and with a big thanks to her, you can read it below. [E3 2014] See that gorgeous, unfading charm once again in Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX-. Our interview with Co. Director Tai Yasue. At E3 2014, held on the 10th June North American time, Square Enix had a demo of Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX- for Playstation 3 on display. This title is a compilation of three works: The 2007 Playstation 2 title Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, the PSP title re-released in 2011 as Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, further remade in HD, and the story of the 2010 Nintendo DS title Kingdom Hearts Re:coded available for experiencing as a HD cinematic work. It is to be released in Japan on October 2nd 2014. This time 4Gamer asked Co. Director (game designer), Tai Yasue of Square Enix, about the goals and enthusiasm that went into development of this title. 4Gamer: Thank you very much for speaking with us today. Along with Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 ReMIX- (hereon 1.5), Kingdom Hearts -HD 2.5 ReMIX (hereon 2.5) is announced as a title that bridges all the games in the series as we head towards the release of what will be the newest title, Kingdom Hearts III (hereon KH3), isn't it? Tai Yasue (hereon Yasue): Yes. Right from the beginning when we were starting KH3 we had plans for 1.5 and 2.5. We had two goals. First, as our titles had been released on various platforms as things went along, we wanted to unify the series on the PS3. Second, as this is a long series that is over ten years old, we wanted a tight presentation of the story for hopeful new players and those whose memories of the games were a little rusty. This story is so full of foreshadowing that even I have been like, 'what was this again?' before (laughs). 4Gamer: At E3 this year, you had a playable version of 2.5 on display, didn't you? We heard that it was the English version of the one unveiled at the end of 2013 at Jump Festa 2014. Yasue: Actually, the E3 version had quite a few adjustments to it. For example, in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (hereon BBS), Terra and the others had more actions. 4Gamer: So of course it wasn't exactly the same. So, you could select out of two stages from Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (hereon KH2) and three stages from BBS. What was the reasoning behind including those particular stages? Yasue: For KH2, I chose two that I loved, Beast's Castle and Halloween Town. I wasn't involved in the development of KH2, so I wanted to share with everyone the bits that moved me as a player myself. 4Gamer: Is that so. So those were your favourite stages then, Mr Yasue (laughs). What about BBS, for which you were involved with developing? Yasue: I wanted people to experience Enchanted Dominion from Terra's story, which had some thorny battles, and Radiant Garden with Aqua and the bonds between all three main characters. Then, I chose Castle of Dreams with playable Ventus because, again, I love that bit. I was really pleased with the three-dimensionality of exploring the map and the cute developments. 4Gamer: Being able to attack the enemies while rolling on top of that ball of wool is fun. There are also quite a lot of enemies, so crushing them feels nice, like popping bubble wrap. Yasue: Yeah, I got pretty excited about that when I was making it, too. I remembered that, which is why I wanted to put it in the demo this time. I think it's a nice display of the various things you can play with in the maps, which is one great thing about BBS. 4Gamer: Now, please tell us about the things you altered for 2.5. First, how about KH2? Yasue: With KH2, we left the character models as they were, and just changed the textures. We made the colours vivid enough to be astonishing, and the Disney worlds feel even warmer than before, or I think so anyway. Of course, not only the characters and backgrounds but the sound, the UI, the effects, all elements have been upgraded. 4Gamer: Did you remake the textures for this title? Yasue: First all the textures were made all pretty and HD by the programmers, the designers took that further by adjusting each one by hand. In BBS, the original amount of textures on a single character was quadrupled, so Aqua and the others are very pretty now. 4Gamer: We have heard that in other titles, when making characters for HD remasters, fine-tuning is necessary to keep the same impression of their faces and the like, as it changes. How was 2.5 in that regard? Yasue: We had many members who have been involved with the series for a very long time who understood that issue thoroughly, so we moved forward without too much trouble on that front. The KH series has a very particular setup and design, so if you get that even a little off, it feels like a completely different thing. That's why it was necessary for everyone in the team to inherit an appreciation for what is 'KH-esque'. We had quite a large number of people compared to previous teams, with quite a few people from both the Osaka and Tokyo teams, so the designers etc would have a teleconference every morning, constantly taking care not to hurt the shared vision. 4Gamer: What would be an example of something 'KH-esque'? Yasue: As a game, it being something everyone from casual to hardcore gamers can enjoy is something, I think. While on one hand it's comparatively simple to advance through the story, where it's unrelated to the advancement of the story, the enemies you fight are incredibly tough. Also, we don't make it so that you can't win without following a specific process, we make it so that the player can battle in whatever style they enjoy. As for the art and the look of the universe, it's hard to put into words (laughs). The KH series has a unique, specific look to the universe that comes from a precise image that Nomura (Mr Tetsuya Nomura) holds, though. As for the direction the graphics take, it's a particular type of vivid colour and smooth gradation, I would say. 4Gamer: For something that difficult to put into words to be shared by a team… Yasue: Yeah. There were times when we had ideas that would have gone through in another team, but we said 'KH doesn't go like this'. 4Gamer: We see. Now, this may be a little trivial, but we'd like to hear about the screen ratio. The PS2 version of KH2 had the usual 4:3, but now it's 16:9, isn't it? Yasue: In cutscenes there were a lot of effects that cut off and animations that weren't moving in places, so we had to remake quite a few parts to work in 16:9. In battles the field of vision has widened so I think it's easier to play. 4Gamer: Now let's talk about BBS. It was originally a PSP title, wasn't it? Compared to the two titles remade for 1.5 and KH2 in this compilation, which were all for PS2, we're sure it was different to work on. Yasue: The biggest difference was, obviously, the graphics. We changed the models and textures of the menus, characters and backgrounds drastically. For example, the Keyblades in the PSP version look quite thin, but on the PS3 we made them look proper and thick. 4Gamer: We were definitely hit with the impression that it's more beautiful than we had expected for a game that was originally on PSP. Yasue: The controls, too. There are more buttons on a PS3 controller than on a PSP, so we reallocated the controls, and assigned the camera to the right stick. 4Gamer: Is that so. Now, please tell us about Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (hereon Re:coded). Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, also for the Nintendo DS, became a two hour cinematic work, didn't it. Yasue: Re:coded in 2.5 is three hours. In the beginning we had thought to make it about two hours, but it just kept getting bigger. Within those three hours is about one hour of the original's cutscenes made HD, and a little over two hours of new content. 4Gamer: You mean there's more new content than not? Yasue: Yeah, there are parts from the DS game that weren't originally cutscenes, plus battles and events, all made into cinematics. Its a huge volume of content, and I hope the fans are pleased with it. 4Gamer: When developing 1.5 and 2.5, what was the criteria behind deciding whether to remake a game or turn it into a cinematic work? Yasue: It's really a platform problem. To be honest, trying to make a Nintendo DS game work on a PS3 would require the same effort as making a completely new game. That's why we've done it like this, placing priority on the story and making them into cinematic works. 4Gamer: Now, what about the sound? For 1.5 the sound was modified to be compatible with 5.1ch surround sound. Is 2.5 the same? Yasue: Yes. For this title, we have added strings performances using an orchestra. Under the supervision of Ms Shimomura, about 90 tracks for KH2 were recorded from a 40 person strings ensemble in Boston, USA, and remixed. The next biggest task was enviroment sounds. We added a huge number of environmental sounds that we had been unable to add to BBS due to the limitations of the PSP, such as the sound of running water from fountains. And of course, it's compatible with 5.1ch. 4Gamer: From everything you've told us so far, it sounds like you've put great thought into even the smallest things in the 2.5 remake. Yasue: Yeah. With 1.5 we worried over what to do about the gameplay side of things, but this time we got that done smoothly with time to spare, so we designers could pick on all our little hang ups until we wanted to strangle ourselves (laughs). The more you try to fix a hang up the further it goes, and how far should you go? You draw and draw and draw… and the retouches pile up. 4Gamer: What is an example of one of your hang ups? Yasue: The thing that stuck out most to me was, as I said before, the BBS characters. We obsessed over their textures, in particular, til they became quite pretty. Also, we rehauled the menu screen so it would look nice. I think because of that, the designers had more of a hand in this title than they did in 1.5. 4Gamer: So, on the other hand, were there any things from the old games that you didn't want to change when making them HD? You said before, Mr Yasue, that you were a fan of KH2. Perhaps you had such thoughts for that game? Yasue: KH2 was very well made as a game, so rather than put my foot in it, to begin with I focused on giving the graphics an upgrade. As a creator, at times there are things I think I want to change, but that's because I tend to get a big head. With this title I left the the popular gameplay and game balance as it was and steadily worked on politely upping the quality for the PS3. As with BBS, we didn't change the basic gameplay. 4Gamer: Mr Yasue, you are usually in Osaka, aren't you. Is it inconvenient to divide the teams between Tokyo and Osaka? Before you spoke of the importance of a shared view on what is 'KH-esque'. It sounds difficult to do so without being able to meet face to face. Yasue: It's true that when we didn't understand something we weren't able to ask someone right next to us straight away, but it wasn't really that much of an issue. We had teleconferences with the Tokyo team, and once every one or two months everyone from both teams would all get together for a meeting. As development of the series has gone on the teams have grown in membership, and it would actually be difficult for all of us to gather in one place. I think using various tools to communicate is the only option. Rather than thinking of us as the Osaka team and the Tokyo team, my image is that of one KH team, with members working in different places. 4Gamer: Is that so. Yasue: It's thanks to the obstacles that we can make something so good, just as it's only thanks to limitations that we come up with solutions. What's more, dealing with the intellectual property of Mr Disney, like 'I don't think Winnie the Pooh would really do something like this', is connected to how we maintain the universe of KH, I believe. 4Gamer: Have there been cases where the expectations of the Disney side and the interpretations of the KH team have been different? Yasue: Of course. We factor that in, moving forward with detailed communications. The Disney representative is actually extremely passionate about the KH series. That means the content is very important to both our companies, and we discuss our hang ups with each other. 4Gamer: So how does the procedure go? Does the KH team propose something and ask for Disney's judgement? Yasue: It's case-by-case, but generally the KH team designs a plan to do with the content of the game, and then we share information with Disney. Of course, every time we make new graphic models or art we have them check it. 4Gamer: Making each title in 2.5 into HD, was there anything particularly charming about the series that you noticed all over again? Yasue: Just now I've been playing the Organisation XIII Replica Data boss battles over and over, and I get really fired up. If I'm not watching like a hawk I can't dodge the enemy attacks. I think that's really well done. 4Gamer: It may be rude to sound surprised, but the bosses in KH2 are pretty difficult now, aren't they. We played the demo, and it being our first time in a long time facing those bosses, we wondered whether it had always been that hard. Yasue: Me too. I retried Axel's Replica Data 40-50 times before finally beating him. 4Gamer: As you said before, you didn't change the game balance, did you. Yasue: No, we didn't think to make it any harder. Maybe my gaming arm is getting weak in my old age (laughs). 4Gamer: We can't deny that either (laughs). Yasue: One more thing I noticed was that the graphics in KH2 were generally made gorgeously. I felt that all over again thanks to the HD. Looking at it now, I think the charm hasn't faded at all. 4Gamer: Are there any other points in 2.5 that you'd like players to pay attention to? Yasue: Rather than anything in particular, just the whole thing. In 2.5, and 1.5 was the same, everything has been made so carefully, and I'd love for players to see that for themselves. We have layered so many tiny details to finish something so pretty, and I'd love players to see that. Also, parts of Re:coded have been remade completely, and I'd love for players to enjoy the story through the beautiful graphics. 4Gamer: I think perhaps you conveyed the same thing just now, but playing the demo of 2.5, we realised we couldn't feel the age of the KH series at all. Perhaps that's due to its unique charm, there really is no other title like it. Yasue: Yeah. When you actually play it, you do remember how 'games were great in the old days', but that's not all there is to its charm. Even compared to games today, it has accomplished a particular and clear uniqueness. Of course there are exceptions, but the graphics and content in many AAA games these days are aiming for realism, and puzzles and card games are prevalent among those aimed at casual gamers. Among all those is the KH series, with absolutely gorgeous graphics that tend towards fantasy rather than realism and have all the warmth of Disney animation. That's connected to originality, I think. It's evolving in a different direction than even other titles from Square Enix, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. 4Gamer: If that's how it goes, the more you develop it the less you'll be able to use other titles for ideas. Yasue: That's true. Rather than comparing it to other things, we take the stance of 'KH is like this'. We are even careful when we introduce the vibes of the intellectual properties Disney grants us, too, so maybe that's another reason you don't feel the age of the series. 4Gamer: Have you come into contact with any Disney works lately? Yasue: I went to see Frozen with my kids, and that film moved my adult self and my children alike. I think it's such a pure, wonderful movie, and I want to keep on making a KH series that isn't aimed at particular people either, something that children and adults alike can enjoy. As I said before, the KH series can be enjoyed by both casual and hardcore gamers, and while the story has deep elements, it tells of a universal theme that anyone can understand: friendship. Also, from a developer's point of view, I thought the depiction of the ice crystals in Frozen was amazing. 4Gamer: So, what do you think the difference is between a standalone Disney work and the KH series? Yasue: One selling point of the KH series is that within one title there can be many attractions. For example, in KH2, Pirates of the Caribbean is aimed at a relatively older demographic, while Atlantica would appeal to those looking for a cuter universe. The point is that the charm of several works are neatly included and presented in one game. The various characters and stories are beloved for a reason, and it's important for us to bring them to life in ways that don't damage that. 4Gamer: Is that so. For example…? Yasue:Of course, it doesn't feel good to change the stories of the famous Disney films. That's where we have to be clever about incorporating the story of the Dark Seeker and making a game. We make the experience of playing the game completely different from just watching and hearing the story, so we direct the tension and emotions of the game experience somewhere away from where the stories of the Disney films took place. 4Gamer: Is there a scene in particular that you think expresses this well? Yasue: Well for example, Ventus' part from BBS which I chose for the recent demo. That took place before Cinderella was to meet the prince at the castle, and actually, the mice and Ventus were collecting materials for her dress. The KH series depicts the growth of the heart, and I think that part manages to express what Cinderella's story first did, 'belief in dreams'. On the gameplay side, it's interesting to explore the huge, three dimensional map from the unusual point of view of being mouse-sized. 4Gamer: Behind the scenes of Cinderella's story, the player can experience another story where they are the protagonist. Yasue: That structure of KH is somewhat close to Disneyland, don't you think? There are so many worlds with different atmospheres, each with their own stories, and you, the guest, get to have so many experiences within them, which makes it fun. When I think about developing gameplay for KH, sometimes I picture walking through Disneyland. For example, when you enter Disneyland, when you walk a little way in, Cinderella's castle suddenly comes into view before you. The KH series, too, has you venturing down long roads, wondering with excitement what will show up at the end of them. And right at that moment, a castle appears, or maybe a boss battle was waiting. 4Gamer: 1.5 released in March 2013, and 2.5 will release roughly a year and a half after it, on October 2nd 2014. Is that how you first planned? Yasue: Yes. As we head towards the release of KH3, we wanted to offer 2.5 for everyone. Fortunately, development went off without a hitch. 4Gamer: This makes us hope… maybe we will be able to play KH3 without much wait after 2.5…. Yasue: At this stage I can't make any comments regarding a release date, but we are working hard. KH3 changes the fundamental structure of the series so far, so we have to do a lot of research as we go along, but the plans for our content and ideas are steadily moving forwards. 4Gamer: Fans of the series will be wondering what worlds will appear next. Yasue: Yeah, our ideas for that are moving forward pretty steadily too. At this stage I can't say anything though (laughs). 4Gamer: We heard that KH3 will mark the completion of the first stage of the story. Yasue: That's right. The 'Dark Seeker Chronicles' that have been developing through the series so far will be concluded. 4Gamer: Hearing that, our anticipation is now even higher. And lastly, a message for all those KH fans out there waiting impatiently for the release of 2.5. Yasue: Among the 2.5 development team are many people who were originally fans of the KH series. In making this HD version, every member of the team was strongly aware of the need to treat the past games with utmost care. We have created the graphics piece by piece carefully and steadily, so please play it and see the world of KH in even more beauty. If you play 1.5 and 2.5, you will gain a deep understanding of the story of KH, and your experience of KH3 will be even richer! 4Gamer: Thank you very much.
  2. Kotaku have conducted an interview with Tai Yasue, the current co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, who is currently at E3 2014 to promote Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. In this interview, Yasue reveals some details about Kingdom Hearts III. Quotes from Yasue can be read below. Talking about the Kingdom Hearts III E3 2014 teaser video: Yasue: That's the starting scene for Kingdom Hearts III, actually. [Co-director Tetsuya] Nomura has a real clear picture of the starting sequence. He wrote that up actually, the drawings, and we voice-recorded that. That's gonna be a real integral part of the story of Kingdom Hearts III. It's gonna be the starting point of Kingdom Hearts III. Kotaku: Is there anything you can hint at or tease to fans who might be desperate for any information on Kingdom Hearts III? Yasue: As a developer I'm really excited, the technology is totally different, and creatively it's moving at leaps and bounds. Talking about the Kingdom Hearts III trailer at D23 Expo Japan: Yasue: We'll have, I think, a lot of that. You could I guess imagine a theme park sort of ride-based action. I think that might be an important part of the game, and so I think people can really look forward to that. It will be moving in leaps and bounds, I think. It's very exciting. An interesting quote from the article: "I told Yasue, who is bi-lingual and speaks both Japanese and English, that the first thing everyone thought when Disney bought Lucasfilm was that now Kingdom Hearts could have Star Wars. He laughed and said he couldn't comment." Final words: Yasue: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 is gorgeous, I think. But Kingdom Hearts III is pure magic.
  3. Dengeki Online have posted an interview with Tai Yasue, co-director of the Kingdom Hearts series, which discusses Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III. Here, Yasue reveals a lot about the development of the two games. @sqexgal has translated the entire interview on her SQEX.INFO website, and thanks to her, it can be read below. --From programmers to designers, everyone is involved. - You’ve officially announced the release date for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix, how is the development status? Yasue: It’s practically complete. We are making detailed, final adjustments and setting the trophy conditions now. We are adding in the final cutscenes as well, that’s about all that’s left as far as work goes. - I heard that work on Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix pretty much started from scratch, how was 2.5 in comparison? Yasue: It pretty troubling starting KH 1.5 in a stage where we making the game’s composition and system base. But as far as producing went, thankfully we struck a balance between programmers building the foundation for the game on PS3 and replacing graphics, so we were able to progress relatively smoothly. We had content from the previous titles to use when remastering KH 2.5 which was good, but instead we had trouble figuring out how much we wanted to up the graphic quality, it was a matter of design that was tough. If we did this, then we have to do that and that, kind of problem. (Laughs) Once the schedule was decided, all possible adjustments were made and we’re finishing it up. - Was the difference in screen ratio difficult to deal with? Yasue: Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was originally at a 16:9 ratio so it didn’t really change, but the original Kingdom Hearts 2 was 4:3, so it changed a lot. Having a greater screen width is nice, but things you couldn’t see before became visible, so we had to take a second look and adjust the backgrounds and textures as a whole. The menu screen in particular was difficult. We had to add in new imagery to the parts of the gummi ship camp menu etc. that were lacking. As for BBS, the character models and imagery look nicer and the 3D presence of the finer details have been improved upon as well. - Pretty much everything got some sort of treatment. Yasue: That’s right, to say it lightly. (Laughs) To HD-ify something, you might imagine it’s as easy as putting data into a transformer, pressing a button, and then, ”Ta-da, it’s done!” But it’s not that simple. Our entire staff is involved and they work really hard at a steady pace. Everything you see has been treated in some way, from the backgrounds and character models to the menus. Besides that, the designers had a lot to work on with BBS. They had to add in a lot more detail, and even though the textures for each character are now about 4 times nicer than before, the designers found themselves being strangled by their work. Especially when it came to Aqua and the other playable characters. As a result, they’re not done tweaking and they’re really choking themselves now! (Laughs) Having an HD remake is something really great for players, but for the staff it’s kind of a nightmare. The Mirage Arena has been improved for single player mode. - In KH 1.5 new abilities like “EXP Zero” and “Combo Master” were added, will there be new ones in KH 2.5 too? Yasue: There isn’t anything new. However, we fine tuned the degree of difficulty when you equip EXP Zero in BBS. We took a survey regarding BBS’s degree of difficulty, and overall it had reputation of being well balanced. Since we didn’t want to ruin a good thing, we didn’t make any big changes. Also, the Mirage Arena won’t have multiplayer elements this time, so we adjusted the enemies strength that way the battles are still high tensioned but enjoyable playing alone. There is a tough boss in the final stages, but we made it faster and changed the AI a little, so it’s a more of a challenge than before. It’s not the type of boss you’ll be able to suppress simply with strength, you’ll have to think about how to fight. - KH2 had a lot of formidable enemies too, have they been adjusted as well? Yasue: KH2 was already a complete package, so thinking that messing with it too much would break the balance, we decided not to readjust things. Therefore the Organization XIII data reappearances and armored warrior fights are just as strong as before. - Do you have a favorite battle? Yasue: My favorite is the data reappearance battle with Roxas. As an opponent he puts up a fairly hard fight, but isn’t that where you snatch Roxas’ Keyblade? I like in that scene when you slide past the attacks and counter attack. Mere physical strength isn’t enough, you need to use our head and technique, watch the boss’ movements to know when to guard, modify your abilities and Keyblade so you have an advantage. I like fights that have that kind of balance to them. If you fight this boss the way you do the regular storyline bosses, you’ll lose, so I like that this boss takes some finesse to defeat. - Did you make changes to the audio portions? Yasue: About 80% of KH2’s audio work was remixing. adding in stringed instruments to songs has a wonderful result. Same as before, the audio is in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Yoko Shimomura’s music is an undeniable trait of the Kingdom Hearts series, I feel like without the atmosphere she creates, it isn’t Kingdom Hearts, so the mix of the final audio was carefully controlled but also provides a new depth to the familiar sound. As for BBS, we’ve added more atmospheric sounds than the original, for instance you can hear water trickling if you are near a fountain, which improves the presence. - Did you rerecord any of the voice sequences? Yasue: We added about 2 hours of new cutscenes for the Re:coded portion, so we had to record for that. We ported data from the overseas editions of KH2 and BBS, so we had to switch back the voices from English to Japanese, but we didn’t change anything else besides that. Working as one KH team in Osaka and Tokyo. - What kind of work are you involved in regarding development on the newest title, Kingdom Hearts 3? Yasue: As the development overseer, I work in the office keeping programmers, designers, and planners in order. Mostly I work as a planner, figuring out how the game plays as a whole. I discuss the systems and gameplay with Tetsuya Nomura, as well as write the business proposals. I’m in the middle between the office staff and Nomura, so I get nudged from both sides. (Laughs) - What kind of process does development go through? Yasue: First Nomura decides the concept, while that’s being drawn up, the development team puts together the proposal and art, and we make a trial version. While research and development progresses, a consensus is reached with Nomura, and bit by bit the game reaches completion. When it gets to the final stage, all the elements including the story and battles are put together, and they are adjusted from there until they mesh together nicely. - I hear that the Kingdom Hearts series is developed by the Osaka team, is that the case for KH3 as well? Yasue: Speaking of number of people, about 80% are in Osaka, the other 20% are combined with people in Tokyo. This setup was used with KH 2.5 as well. Programmers for KH3 and KH 2.5 are separated into two teams, but designers and planners work on both. There’s not really a wall between the Osaka and Tokyo teams, they work together like one KH team. - Speaking of Osaka, they’re the guys that did Brave Fencer Musashi way back in the day. Yasue: That’s right. The Brave Fencer Musashi and Parasite Eve series. There are a lot of game development companies and creators in Osaka, the people intermingle and since putting out Kindom Hearts, we’ve assembled a lot of new staff. The atmosphere and organization since the time of Musashi and Parasite Eve has changed greatly. - Each new entry into the Kingdom Hearts series improves upon the speed and action and amazing effects, how will it be from hereafter? Yasue: It’s important to continue the path of dynamic action, amazing effects, and gameplay with strategic elements, but adjusting the speed elements is actually quite difficult. If you’re too fast than the player can’t keep up. A sort of speed inflation occurs if the players are fast, then the enemies have to be sped up and so on. We want it to fundamentally be as enjoyable as possible for as many people as possible, so I think we have to find a perfect balance. However, there are also situations planned like when you ride the jet coaster where expressing that kind of high speed course is important, so there’s a good variety prepared. - How will the configuration of the gameplay field etc. evolve hereafter? Yasue: It’ll vary by world, but I can’t talk about the concrete details yet. But if you compared it to Kingdom Hearts so far, the scale is drastic and open, running through the gameplay fields feels surreally huge. You can get a thrill just by moving around the field. - It’s common for treasure boxes to be put in clever places in the Kingdom Hearts series. For instance, I spot you can see but can’t immediately reach. Will KH3 inherit that kind of play spirit? Yasue: I like that technique of teasing at a glance a lot. (Laughs) Where you can see something is nearby, but you don’t know how to get to it. Those kind of play sensations are the kind of points we tend to fuss over. I also like things where you won’t see them if you progress ahead, but you will if you turn around. But just doing those kind of gimmicks gets old, so I think just a hint of these kind of aspects will be fun. - Being in charge of a numbering title, do you feel pressured? Yasue: I’m really not the type to be afflicted by pressure. The reason is, I’m looking forward to what I do while I do it. Various dreams are broadened, and new things and content are rapidly made in a numbering title, plus as expected Nomura will prepare something amazing story wise, so all in all I’d say it’s a fun experience. There’s also the technology. Compared to previous titles, how games are made is fundamentally different, it’s stimulating to try out the leading edge of technology. Also, until now, you felt the evolution of technology with the making of each game, but now we are crossing the biggest turning point, challenging an entirely new field of research. - You were born in Canada, about how long did you live there? Yasue: From the time I was born until I was 16, I lived in Canada. I didn’t really speak Japanese and couldn’t write kanji, so I didn’t have plans on going to Japan but when I was in high school, we moved and I enrolled in a Japanese high school. Not only was my vocab different, but my spirit was different than everyone else and it was rough. However, thanks to growing up in Canada, I have a more carefree spirit and don’t sweat the details and I’ve been able to come this far. - Thanks to that characteristic you seem to handle the current hard work quite well. Yasue: I guess you could say that. It’s important to pay attention to the details when you develop games, but you also won’t make progress if you don’t have a flexible mindset. Also to borrow from the theme of KH, when times get hard your friends are there to help you out, you really feel connected through your troubles. (Laughs) I like those thing that are true in real life as in the world of gaming. - The game operation of KH 1.5 was changed to resemble KH2, but this time the game operation hasn’t changed? Yasue: When we did KH 1.5, KH2’s operation style was considered the standard so we changed it to match, but this time we haven’t made any major changes. BBS was on PSP, so now the right analog stick controls the camera. - At the ending of KH 1.5 there was a secret movie at the end of the credits that hinted at the next installment, will that be the case for KH 2.5 as well? Yasue: It’s hard to answer that, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. It’s possible there will be something, but it’s possible there won’t be. (Laughs) Apart from that, I can say that in the Re:Coded theater mode there will be cutscenes added to flesh out the backstories of other Kingdom Hearts titles, so please look forward to that. - Besides the Kingdom Hearts series, is there something that you’d personally like to try and make? A certain game genre? Yasue: I want to do a lot of things. Kingdom Hearts is rich in content so it’s fun. There’s Disney content that hasn’t been utilized yet, and there is a lot of room to expand, so with that in mind I find the series very stimulating. I’m also interested in the Final Fantasy series, but I can’t work on both at the same time. (Laughs) As for genres, I don’t like the dark moods of horror games. But I would like the challenge of trying something on smartphones and tablets. So far I’ve done big projects with big teams, but I’d like to try something with a small group that takes a couple months to make. In the past I experienced making Tetra Master (card game from Final Fantasy IX) with a small group of people and developing it was a lot of fun. It was a simple card game, but I enjoyed the arguing process while fussing with the game’s aspect in a small group. Enjoy KH 2.5 while waiting for KH3 to come together! - KH 2.5 is the compilation of 3 titles, is there a specific highlight about each of them you’d like to point out? Yasue: KH2 was originally a very beautiful game, but when you compare the PS2 version to the HD version, the grade is clearly different. I think as a whole the graphic quality has elevated and it’s a quality upgrade that you can really feel. Not complaining about the graphics of BBS, the simple prettiness of it was one of it’s attributes, so we’ve made it more visibly clear. Re:Coded was a game originally for DS so it’s completely different recollected as a theater compilation now. Battle scenes from the original are now cutscenes, and when you watch the compilation, it’s contents will deepen your understanding of the story even more. The battle scenes are made with dynamic animation and include additional effects, so I’d like to highlight that point. It’s also about 3 hours worth which is even longer that the compilation of 358/2 Days in KH 1.5, which is quite impressive. - Lastly, a message for the readers who are looking forward to KH 2.5 please. Yasue: From designers to planners, each section has taken part and fussed over every little thing to finish up in a good spot. Of course I think when you play it for yourself you’ll be able to see just how much the HD quality has improved upon the original. Development is continuing alongside KH3, and while you await the release for KH3, I hope that everyone plays KH 2.5 so that you can thoroughly enjoy KH3 when it comes. - I want to ask a little but about KH3, what was the purpose behind the lines revealed in the most recent trailer? Yasue: The trailer is obviously different than the final product, but those lines will be in the starting point of KH3. The people who are speaking are secret, but players who understand the story will probably guess who they are immediately. - Has the story been concretely decided already? Yasue: I can’t say if it’s concrete, but that part is. It’s always this way when we make KH titles, before the story is completely decided, the gameplay and systems are developed side by side. Since we plan on announcing new information as content is settled, please look forward to future announcements!
  4. Famitsu.com have conducted an interview with Shinji Hashimoto, the producer of the Kingdom Hearts series, where he was asked if we could expect new Kingdom Hearts III information at E3 2014. Unfortunately, Hashimoto answered that although they are working hard on Kingdom Hearts III, releasing new information will take some time-- but, that people should check out the KH3 teaser included in the HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer. Thanks go to SQEX.INFO for the translation. A lot of news has appeared leading up to E3 2014, so here's a quick summary: - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX to be featured in Square Enix Presents - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX's E3 2014 banner revealed - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX confirmed to be (playable?) at PlayStation's E3 2014 booth - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX trailer for E3 2014 released Release dates for HD 2.5 ReMIX Japan: October 2, 2014 North America: December 2, 2014 Australia: December 4, 2014 Europe: December 5, 2014 - Japan will also have a 1.5+2.5 Collectors Pack, and a Kingdom Hearts Series Memorial Ultimania released on the same date. Details are here. - New Kingdom Hearts III teaser trailer shown E3 2014 begins in only a few days time, and KH13.com's Oishii will be there to help us cover the event in detail. Please look forward to more information, demo impressions and more concerning HD 2.5 ReMIX, and everything Kingdom Hearts.
  5. Alicia Maddox

    X-Blade Theories

    Once again, this came from a conversation with my sister. Now I have seen MANY theories and speculation concerning Kingdom Hearts 3, but I have yet to see, or read one specifically addressing a certain object mentioned in the official KH3 summery released back last year. Allow me to quote: "In an effort to undermine Xehanort's plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the 'Key to Return Hearts'". So what exactly IS this "Key to Return Hearts"? I have two theories about this. 1: What if the KTRH is in fact the X-Blade itself? Let's think about this. What is the X-Blade? Well, it's supposed to be the guardian to the true Kingdom Hearts right? And what is KH? The heart of all worlds. At the present though, KH is hidden in darkness and the world is scattered throughout the universe in the form of smaller worlds. It is known that these worlds have their own individual hearts deep inside them. So could it be that maybe the X-Blade, once it's brought into being, possibly have the power to restore all the worlds back to their original state, and create a "one world" again? If this is the case, then the X-Blade would be returning the hearts back into ONE heart again in one world. This would also lead to the rediscovery of the true KH once again.Theory number 2: Maybe the KTRH isn't the X-Blade at all. And maybe it doesn't involve restoring the worlds. It could be that the KTRH is in fact an average Keyblade, like the one Sora wields, but with a very special ability. We know that true Keyblades are the only weapons that can truly kill a Heartless and separate it's heart from it's manifest body. Well, what if this special Keyblade has the power to restore the Heartless back to their original bodies? This includes Heartless that have already been "killed" by another Keyblade. This would explain the "Return Hearts" bit at least.Alternant theory number 3: We all know that illogic = Namura logic right? So maybe our dear Namura-senpai might throw us a curve and the KTRH might be something complete different! But what? A person? (Sora?) An object? (Keyblade?) A place? (The Keyblade Graveyard?) Who knows! What we DO know is that Namura knows. And he's not telling. Not yet anyway. So, what do you guys think? Have some theories of your own?
  6. Kingdom Hearts series producer, Shinji Hashimoto has recently teased in a Q&A at Thailand Comicon Event in Siam Paragon, Bangkok on May 10, 2014 that Kingdom Hearts III may appear at E3 2014 and Tokyo Game Show 2014 along with other events. --In E3 that will be arranged in this June, is there any new information about FFXV or KHIII? We would like to keep it secret. It just only a few months from now. I'm pretty sure you will be surprised. We might tell you what is our plans, but it's better you see by yourself at Tokyo. (laugh) --About KHIII, could you tell more about characters, systems, story? We are sorry. They are secret. Please wait. The game will come out fantastic. E3 2014 starts June 10 and KH13.com will be covering it. Thanks go to a member at Mognet Central.
  7. Yosuke Matsuda, president and CEO of Square Enix, has talked with Nikkei Trendy today and shared some information about the future of the company. When asked about 2014, Matsuda had this to say about Kingdom Hearts III: There’s remarkable confidence in Final Fantasy XV and and Kingdom Hearts 3. [I] can’t talk details at the moment, [but I think] SE will be able to share more in the future, like at E3. Thanks go to DualShockers for the translation, and to @abyssviola for the find.
  8. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan have announced that a PlayStation 4 launch event will be held on February 21, 2014, starting at 10:30PM JST. Kingdom Hearts III producer Shinji Hashimoto has been annouced as a guest creator for the event, which will be live streamed on Ustream and Nico Nico. It is currently unknown if Hashimoto will reveal any new Kingdom Hearts III information, but we will keep you updated with more information as it appears. Update 2: Shinji Hashimoto appeared on stage at the event and asked fans to "Please wait a little longer." concerning Kingdom Hearts III. Update: Sony have uploaded the videos to be shown at the event to their PlayStation Japan YouTube channel, and unfortunately, the video containing Kingdom Hearts III is old footage from the E3 2013 announcement trailer. This can be seen below. There is still a chance that Hashimoto could reveal some small new information while on stage, so stay tuned and we will keep you updated-- no guarantee, though!
  9. Earlier in the week, a leaked internal document from Square Enix Europe showed that Kingdom Hearts III had been given a 2014 release date-- however, Square Enix have today confirmed that this release date is inaccurate, and simply a placeholder. Square Enix released the following statement to GameSpot: We're aware an internal document has been in circulation listing release dates for select Square Enix titles. This information contained in this document is inaccurate and features placeholder timing. Specifically, no announcement has been made to date for Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV--their projected release window remains to be advised.
  10. Zap2it recently interviewed Haley Joel Osment, the English voice actor for Sora and he briefly commented on Kingdom Hearts III. He confirms that he spoke with Square Enix following the announcement at E3 2013 and that he hopes to voice Sora in Kingdom Hearts III. You can watch the video and read the transcript below, thanks to opinion from KH13 for the tip. Zap2it: "Now, one last question. I'm going to nerd out a little on you, but you've been involved in the Kingdom Hearts franchise for a really long time, and people are excited about 'Kingdom Hearts III' finally coming out. Can you talk a little bit about that? Have you seen the script or anything?" HJO: "I saw the announcement and then talked with them a little on the phone. I started doing ‘Kingdom Hearts’ in 2001, and we’ve done the main series and then the Game Boy one. I feel like I’ve done seven or eight installments, which is awesome but with this, they’re making it now and the recording of the dialogue is one of the last parts of the process. Probably this summer or later." Zap2it: "But we'll have you back for Sora?" HJO: "That’s what I hear. Sometimes Sora goes back to being a child or goes to another universe or changes into somebody else so I can never say for sure, but hopefully I’ll be back."
  11. The connection between Kingdom Hearts χ and Kingdom Hearts III is believed to have been touched upon in the latest update for Kingdom Hearts χ, via the Fortuneteller's Script. goldpanner has translated this script via KHInsider, and it can be read below. Chirithy: You've really shaped up as a Keyblade Wielder, haven't you. Uh-huh, you're looking really fine, too! I think it's time to tell you, then. Before my master, He who created me, disappeared, He bestowed His six followers with new names, and gave five of them a tome of prophecy. These five followers, who were to become the Foretellers, read the future written in the tome. Apparently a passage written on the last page shocked them. "The war in that place will lead to the defeat and destruction of the Light. The World will be enveloped in eternal Darkness." In order to save the future World, the five Foretellers thought to use the power hidden in the tome of prophecy. That's the power you are all using now. Through the cards, you are using the power of the future to try and protect the light from the darkness, and avert the future enveloped in darkness. Also, as you know, even though the five Foretellers share the same goal, they by no means share the same will. So, you mustn't lose sight of it yourself.
  12. This week's issue of Famitsu Weekly magazine contains the opinions of various Japanese video game developers about the PlayStation 4 and the games they're developing ahead of the PlayStation 4's release in Japan next month. Tetsuya Nomura is one of those developers and he speaks about developing Kingdom Hearts III for the PlayStation 4. You can read it below, thanks to Kotaku. Looking at the PS4, I thought "they've gone too far." I wish they would just let us off the hook. For the player, having a game that's "thoroughly made" makes them excited with anticipation, but for a developer, it's a hurdle we have to overcome. The number of things we have to do keeps increasing and if we keep trying to expand as far as it will go, we'll never be finished. I think we're going to end up being faced with the choice of what to keep and what to give up on [for Kingdom Hearts III]. I really felt the immense response to the Kingdom Hearts III announcement and so it's now my task to figure out how to satisfy all those people who are looking forward to it. There have been a lot of different consoles in the past, but I feel that this one is the biggest mountain we've had to climb yet, in a good way.
  13. Haley Joel Osment, the English voice actor for Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series, is currently holding an "ask me anything" on reddit. Here, people can ask HJO anything they like, and he will choose questions to answer. Hopefully he answers a few Kingdom Hearts-related questions! We will keep updating below with any that he answers. Artvandelay1: Have you started working on Kingdom Hearts 3 yet? What do you know about it that you can legally share with us? HJOsment: Wow, lots of Kingdom Hearts questions! I am a fan of the series too, so I am excited to see what they do with KH3. I only have about as much information as you all do at the moment; they are still making the game, and my part is one of the last steps in the process. I won't be involved until later in the year at the earliest. But I will let you all know if I hear anything more! lanxner: The Kingdom Hearts plot is really hard to follow, but seeing as you’ve provided your voice for most of the games, can you understand most of it? Do you tend to play the games yourself? HJOsment: I will never forget walking in for the first session of KH2 and seeing that the producers had set up a bulletin board with a flow chart explaining the sequence of events in different universes and watching them almost struggle to sort it out. It wasn't that they weren't knowledgeable, they just were still unraveling the story for themselves and dealing with the huge amount of information Nomura-San puts out. That was when I personally realized how video games had reached the level of art. Or maybe when I beat the Spirit Temple for the first time on N64.... KMA10k: With regards to Kingdom Hearts, how does it feel to have played the character of Sora for essentially half your life now? Is it an honor, a burden, or something else entirely? HJOsment: It is weird to think that this is the character I've been with the longest! It's a great series though and I hope it goes on and on and on.....I did a play in Philadelphia a few years ago ( "Red" by John Logan) and we had a talkback after one Student Matinee....every single question was "WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT?" I enjoyed that. Driz51: Who is your favorite Kingdom Hearts character besides Sora and what is your favorite line of Sora's? HJOsment: the number of times i have screamed "RI KUUUUUU"... Kairi's great too....not playing favorites Be sure to check out his non-KH answers as well: Hey reddit, it's me Haley Joel Osment, here to answer your questions.
  14. The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on December 26, 2013, has contained an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura reveals new information regarding Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts χ. hokanko-alt have published a summary of this interview, and staff translator goldpanner has translated it. Thanks to her, it can be read below. > Game Information - Final Mix version as base, plus Japanese voices - Re:Coded has been fully remade as a movie, with new scenes > Interview Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX - KH2.5 was created by the same team as 1.5, the Osaka Team. However, as the HD-ifying process had already been established, it went a lot more smoothly than 1.5 did - A release time frame is in sight but they still aren't at a stage where they can announce a date - They didn't have to change as much this time as they did for KH1.5, but the volume was equivalent - Re:Coded isn't as long as 358/2 days, and most of the main story was already in cutscene form, which means they are applying new cutscenes to things that happened in Disney Worlds. Those require new voicing work, and last week they carried out the voice recording for Alice's world - They are also adding battle scenes and a just little more to the scenario - There's a scene connecting from Re:Coded to KH3D - The reason for the HD remasters is to recap the story that leads to KH3, and since a) it's sad to think of just one title getting left out of being in HD and b) KH3D is a vital part in laying out KHIII, he knows he has to think of something Kingdom Hearts χ - He is currently being conscious of putting in mysteries and twists for the story. There's an episode of KHχ added that begins with a simple conversation with Chirithy, but then another Chirithy appears in the scene. - The Guilt System had the working title of 'Orb', but they changed it. Perhaps you could expand on imagining collecting the sins (guilt) of the Heartless -There is a natural predetermined meshing if he writes the scenarios himself, but as the goal approaches, he is becoming less convinced of that answer. He's exploring solutions to the question of how to surprise himself - He thinks the KHχ scenario will actually be a surprise. An episode dedicated to the Foretellers will reveal, written in a tome of prophecy, events that are to happen in the future - The last passage in the tome of prophecy is something shocking that connects to KH3 - As KHχ is online, it is by nature difficult to establish an ending to the story, but he has thought of a tentative conclusion. He's also currently thinking of online components for KH3, so he's hoping he can link them nicely, but he still doesn't know Kingdom Hearts III - He was happy that the KH3 promo released in October had such a massive reception, but there is still way way not enough on the development side - 'Attraction Flow', which allows the selection of techniques that respond to enemies and locations, has techniques particularly rich in individuality during boss battles. It's one of the core gameplay elements of KH3, evolved from KH3D's Flowmotion - Other than the gun form, there are some out-of-this-world transformations for the Keyblade. When the staff told me it would become a [redacted] I burst out laughing - I hope to use all sorts of gimmicks on the suggestion of the planning department - KH3 and KH2.5 are both by the Osaka Team; they are being worked on side by side - Nomura is currently rewriting the scenario for KH3 Update 1: Famitsu.com have posted a preview scan of the article concerning HD 2.5 ReMIX. You can view it below. Update 2: SQEX.INFO have done a full translation of Nomura's interview, and thanks to them, this can be read below. Today we’re speaking with Kingdom Hearts series creator Tetsuya Nomura about KH2.5 and KHX, as well as the latest title KH3 announced for PS4 and XB1. Get the inside scoop about what Nomura has in store for the undoubtedly amazing story! - First off, I’d like to ask about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix. Did development start right after Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix was finished? Nomura: That’s right. Just like KH1.5, KH2.5 is being handled by the Osaka team. Programmers established the system for making things HD with KH1.5, so this time it’s progressing even smoother than that. - So it’s not as difficult this time around? Nomura: I think I mentioned this before, but it was more difficult with KH 1.5 since there was no remaining data to go off of. (wry laugh) This time Birth by Sleep is included in the compilation and originally the Osaka team worked on that, so they have the know how and there haven’t been any problems so far. - KH2.5 was recently exhibited at Jump Festa 2014. If development is going so well, is the release date close at hand? Nomura: The release period is in sight, but I can’t say yet. - Alright, let’s talk about content. For KH1.5, there were changes made to KH’s technical specifications to make it closer to KH2, what about this time? Nomura: There haven’t been any changes so far. Nonetheless, we are not only making an HD version of KH2, but BBS and the Final Mix parts as well, and of course we’re implementing trophies, so it has considerable volume and I think it’s something players can enjoy thoroughly. - Scenes from KH Recoded are also included in the compilation. How much footage from it will be included? And are voiced scenes being recorded? Nomura: The scenarios of Recoded itself are rather short within the series, so it’s not as abundant as Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was in KH1.5. But in accordance with the length of Days, scenes from it were structured mainly around the story involving Roxas and the series’ original characters. This time around, Recoded isn’t as long as Days, so most of the main story from the original has been converted to movie cutscenes. The events that took place in the Disney worlds have been newly made into movie cutscenes as well. Of course that means there will be new scenes that need voice recordings. Just last week they were recording the voices for events in the Alice in Wonderland world. - That’s good news for Disney fans! Nomura: After that we’re including battle scenes that we couldn’t put in at the time of Days and though they are few, we’ll be adding new scenarios too. - Scenes that didn’t take place during the game version? Nomura: Yes. Chronologically, Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance takes place after Recoded, so there will be scenes that fill in that gap. - Speaking of which, KH3D isn’t getting an HD remake. Nomura: The HD remastered versions are meant to recap the story leading to KH3. While we’re remaking the series, it’s a shame that only one won’t be in HD, but KH3 picks up where KH3D leaves off so it’s an important title to the series, you can’t forget about it. Side Note: According to Famitsu’s data as of 2013/12/8, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is the 2nd best selling HD title, behind Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver. from Capcom. It sold 131,940 copies in it’s first week and has sold 222,995 total. - KH1.5 remains the 2nd best selling HD remaster title in Japan’s history. Even though the final mix remake came out before the HD version, the HD version is selling. What do you think the main factor for this is? Nomura: Well, probably because it’s in HD and it’s easier to play. (laughs) - I think that’s the case too. (laughs) I think there are many people who want to play it on the high def screen and reaffirm the mysterious story. Nomura: I keep it in mind when I put mysterious and captivating parts into the story. That way fans can imagine how things might turn out. For example, the other day a new episode was added to KHX and it has the first conversation with Chirishi. A scene where another Chirishi appears is added there, but the rest is left to your imagination. It’s established even if you only finish the conversation, I tweaked it a little bit, so it has some meaning. - I see. Since it’s a scene you participated in, we’ll want to check it out. The new system in KHX involving “guilt” seems significant too. Nomura: That too. At first in development they were called “orbs”, but the name has changed to “guilt” which has to do with “sin.” About the act of “gathering guilt from Heartless”, I think fans of the series will remember the connection it has. And then your imagination goes from there. - Certainly we’ll pay attention and imagine something from there. But I doubt that we’ll be absolutely correct. How do you always think this stuff up? Nomura: When I’m writing the scenarios on my own, it’s a combination of stuff coming naturally and the pre-established harmony. It’s because I keep writing towards my original goal. It becomes impossible to understand just by the visible answers. I want to be able to betray myself, by myself. From there I ask, “How can I surprise myself?” And then I begin to grope for a different answer. I also put thorough consideration into the fans viewpoint, wondering what might happen if this happened, etc. - I see. Doing it like that, no one would be able to guess what’s coming, moreover a configuration with integrity is made. We will no doubt be surprised every time. Nomura: I think that the scenarios of KHX from here on out will be surprising as well. In the episode concerning the clairvoyant, the prophesied events occurring in the future written by the clairvoyant will be revealed. - By “the future”, what point of time do you mean? Nomura: As for that, you’ll have to see for yourself. At any rate, the last verse of the clairvoyant is a major shocker. It’s something that connects to KH3. - That’s a must see then! By the way, is there an ending to the story of KHX? Nomura: As far as online characteristics go, it’s the hard part, but I am tentatively thinking about the conclusion. I’m also thinking about online elements for KH3, so if I could link them somehow that’d be cool, but I don’t know about that yet. - At an event in October of this year a new KH3 trailer was premiered. How was the response? Nomura: Everyone was really happy to see it, so that was good. But from the development side, only we knew what point it’s progress was at, and we showed something that still has a long way to go, something “insufficient.” - But it looked immediately playable… Anyways in the trailer, we saw Attraction Flow, the system based on theme park attractions like Jet Coaster, etc. Are those kind of features going to be abundant? Nomura: With Attraction Flow, you can choose techniques corresponding to the place, enemy, etc., so especially in boss fights you’ll be able to use techniques as abundantly as you like. It’s an evolution of KH3D’s Flowmotion and is one of the systems central to KH3. - Speaking of new systems, we saw Sora’s Keyblade do a full on transformation. Nomura: In the trailer, it became gun shaped, but it has unexpected transformations as well. The other day when I was doing a check up, a staff member said to me, “It turns into ___”, and I blurted out, “Are you serious!?” (laughs) - What!? So already it’s not just a weapon? (laughs) After all, it was a vehicle in BBS… Nomura: The planning side has suggested it should be used for some kind of feature. There are infinite possibilities with the Keyblade. (laughs) - I’m sure we’ll be surprised. By the way, the Osaka team is also working on KH3, so does that mean they’ve stopped development to work on KH2.5 in the meantime? Nomura: They’re working alongside one another. - What are you currently working on? Nomura: I’m working on KH3’s scenarios. Writing and editing, writing and editing. - KH2.5 comes first huh. Lastly, I’d like to ask about the other titles that you’re involved with. How is Final Fantasy XV coming along? Nomura: Right now we’re centralizing development. I hope you can wait until the time we can put out subsequent information. - Alright well the other day it was announced that you are in charge of the character design for the arcade version of Puzzle & Dragons Battle Tournament. I’d like to ask about the details regarding that. Nomura: I had the request for Gunslingers Stratos 2 and then a request from Producer Nobuki Kadoi, so I thought, “Me again?” (laughs) I was happy to hear there was a request from Gungho. At first they requested character designs with shorter body proportions, but I was being selfish and made them a little taller. I listened to the requests from the voice cast as well, and I think that the character casting came out pretty well. - Sounds like there was a good collaboration effect going on. Lastly, is it challenging when you have those kind of jobs? Nomura: I thought so with Gunslingers Stratos 2. It had been a long time since I designed characters for a new title and I was drawing freshly, so I thought that if I get the opportunity again, I’ll definitely go for it… Well, that’s how I felt anyways. We were able to talk about a lot of things this time. This old soldier is grateful for that. Update 3: Famitsu.com have updated with an online companion article to the magazine article, containing many screenshots from HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts χ. These can all be seen below, in our gallery. 4Gamer.net have also updated with some screenshots, including one extra that Famitsu did not. This is also included below.
  15. The January 2014 issue of Game Informer has released, and the magazine includes a preview for Kingdom Hearts III. Most of the preview is a re-telling of what we learned from the game's appearance at D23 Expo Japan, however, Tetsuya Nomura (the director of the Kingdom Hearts series) has left some comments explaining some of these revelations in more detail! Nomura's quotes are below (with indirect quotes [in square brackets]): Nomura: [Kingdom Hearts III's main story concludes Xehanort's arc, and it picks up] "immediately after the events of Dream Drop Distance." Nomura: "The process of the wielders coming together will be the main storyline, but one of the highlights of the climax is going to be who is part of the seven lights and thirteen darkness when they get to the final battle. Would it be as everyone expected, or will there be unexpected members added to the mix? That is something to look forward to." Nomura: "All Keyblades transform, and in many different ways. Through the series, various other skilled Keyblade wielders had transformed their weapon; it may serve as a hint to see what they transformed their Keyblades into, in order to understand the different ways in which they changed their form." Nomura: [The special Keyblade moves seen in the trailer are not tied to the Keyblade abilities, but instead to the enemy you're up against.] "When the appropriate attack becomes available, the player can activate it." Nomura: [Kingdom Hearts III] "will be a summation of everything accumulated up to this point, in terms of both story and game mechanics. I'm sure that those who've followed the series up to now are very eager to see what's next, but I think it's also important to create wonder and awe, much like when the first game in the series came out." Nomura: "The end also means a new beginning, and I'm certain that as this story arc ends, players will be able to look forward -- carrying this excitement -- for something new and different, never-before-seen in the series." Thanks go to Kimberley Wallace from Game Informer for the original article, and to KH-Vids for the tip.
  16. The latest issue of Dengeki PlayStation has included an interview with 55 game creators. Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, was one of these creators, and he has shared his thoughts on gaming and Kingdom Hearts in 5 interview questions. SQEX.INFO have translated this portion of the interview, and thanks to them, this can be read below. Q1. What titles have left an impression on you, outside of your own works? Nomura: Titanfall. Q2. What about it left an impression? Nomura: The high presence, realistic battles utilizing extraordinary, giant robots. Q3. Do you have a message regarding memories of your works and plans for upcoming titles? Nomura: Mainly that Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix came out this year, and I tried participating proactively in an overseas event, but I was even more pleased to experience the fan’s excitement for myself. Here as well at D23 Expo Japan, I got to stand in front of fans again after such a long absence, and was happy that the fan’s fervor wasn’t outdone by the overseas experience. We are still preparing to release Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix next year, but we’ll continue working our hardest on Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 as well. Q4. Besides games, what are you most interested in next year and why? Nomura: Obviously, I think there will be a trend towards new hardware systems. You can’t predict what players will think until they’ve used the new systems, so once we know, I expect that the player’s opinions will partly influence the titles currently being developed. Q5. What are your thoughts on the 2013 gaming market and prospects regarding the future? Nomura: I think that the current gen will push the social market trend for another year and next year onward the future of the consumer market will be decided by the next generation hardware. I have a multifunctional hybrid market in mind, something that interacts with other devices, etc.
  17. Series director Tetsuya Nomura has discussed Kingdom Hearts III on the playstationjp YouTube channel, as part of their 'Conversations with Creators' series. Famitsu.com have published a full transcript of the interview, and @sqexgal has now done a complete translation of it. With a very big thanks to her, the full interview can now be read below. Enjoy! --So many fans were ecstatic with the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3 back in June. Could you give us another run down of the series and the new title Kingdom Hearts 3? Nomura: The Kingdom Hearts series has a lot of Disney characters, and you play as original characters, traveling to the various Disney worlds. It’s a story about the “heart” as the series unfolds. It’s a story that’s been ongoing for more than 10 years and continues into Kingdom Hearts 3 where we’ll see the conclusion of the Dark Seeker Saga. --Since it’s the latest console game in the series since Kingdom Hearts 2 which released in 2005, what kind of changes and evolutions can we expect to see? Nomura: I think when you watch the in development trailers, you get a feel of the depth that's possible on a console title. In the case of mobile systems, the amount of information is limited, but with the home consoles you can make a game with a wide field of view. It's been such a long time since Kingdom Hearts has been on the home console, that I think you can feel the considerable scale of it. --On that large a scale, I expect we’ll be able to enjoy even more dynamic action. Nomura: Kingdom Hearts is a series where action continues to evolve. With the past spin off titles, we did something new and the bold action elements changed each time. One thing I want to do with KH3 is to pick and choose the challenges and unique systems from the spin off titles while keeping the system based in the flow of KH1 & KH2. --What’s an example of bold action? Nomura: Sora's mobility has really improved. There are so many possibilities, but implementing all of them would be extravagant, so right now I'm considering what elements and to what degree they'll be liberalized. After all, it's an RPG as well as an action game. It does have that "jump as far as you want" kind of the action characteristic. --Jump as far as you want? That’s insane! Nomura: In the actual game there will be some sort of limit, but this time we are adopting the "free run" style like in current action games, where you can run around, climb, etc. Additionally, your aerial ability and jump ability rise rapidly, so it feels like the action elements are really extravagant. I think people who have played KH2 might understand it easily, it already has greater mobility than Sora's Final Form from that game. --That kind of mobility, no doubt the next gen system PS4 has the ability to realize it? Nomura: I think that the PS4's power is capable of handling a diverse array of actions in a wide area and battles against large numbers of enemies. --Are you powering up the map's traits as well? Nomura: We're preparing a fair number of actions that involve the world maps. Things like climbing up a cliff that crumbles with falling stones, and enemies lifting up a building that you are in. --In the E3 2013 trailer, we see a large number of Shadow Heartless squirming and moving almost like a tidal wave. It seems like the enemies' mobility has evolved too. Nomura: This time we are focusing our attention on developing the AI. The AI of both your allies and enemies has evolved in a way that hasn't been seen so far. Before when a large number of enemies appeared, they all followed a program action pattern. But this time each enemy behaves according to it's own thought process. I think it's something that has been drastically powered up compared to the previous KH titles. --Speaking of allies, will the actions of our travel partners Goofy and Donald change as well? Nomura: Their AI is also being powered up considerably. Since Disney characters have concrete personalities, I want them to act according to their own thoughts instead of just giving them an order and having them obey like in the Final Fantasy series. Relating to their AI, we're configuring it so Donald and Goofy act more like themselves. --Even when they cooperate and mobile, it's not like you give them clear instructions like before. Nomura: The direction we're taking in their growth is to have it so they consider the situation, and help out accordingly. As the player is busy controlling Sora in battle, they consider how they'll participate and their actions increase accordingly. --With the PS4's specs and memory volume, the PS4 is able to implement those features? Nomura: Well, even with the KH games so far, we've made it as seamless to the best of our ability, but the data is resident in the memory... So we include as many actions, motions and effects as possible. Luckily, the PS4's memory volume is big, so it helps. --Bold action, map features, and enemy AI. That's a lot to squeeze into one screen. When I consider it compared to KH2, it seems to become a pretty different game. Nomura: Since it's a numbering KH title that crosses into the next gen, I think you'll be able to feel how it's evolved proportionately. --How about the graphics? Nomura: We're aiming for a photo realistic representation combined with a tone of each Disney world. --You’ve mentioned before that KH3 has a new shader being developed for it, can you tell us about it again? Nomura: This isn't the official name, but it's something we call the Kingdom Shader. You saw it a little bit in the E3 trailer, this visual of a Disney 2D produced painted image represented in 3D. This time, when I was thinking about how the graphics in KH3 would be visualized, it started with Takeshi Nozue working in Visual Works, and he made patterns of various visuals for me. He gave me this "painted looking visual" pattern and I wound up showing it at E3. Visual Works makes pre-rendered footage, and this is based on a way to make it work in real time. --Is the painted looking visual something that you’ve wanted to implement for a long time? Nomura: Since the very first title, the graphic gradation was made with the intention of representing the painted look of Disney's animations. But with the hardware back then didn't have the capability to adjust the lighting freely, so we tried to portray a painted visual in the textures we used. But this time the hardware's capabilities are better, there is no option of "not using light." You don't get a sense of graphical evolution just by setting old graphics to HD, my goal with the next gen isn't to do something that reproduces the pre-rendered scenes from KH1 & KH2 in real time. I considered the concept of the visuals and thus the representation Kingdom Shader was created. --I think all the fans are wondering, what worlds will appear, what enemies will we battle against, etc... Do you have anything to share about that? Nomura: Not yet right now. (laughs) --Nothing, huh? But of course new worlds will be introduced, right? Nomura: As for worlds, I've made some choices and started making them, but at this stage I can't announce what world and which characters. Information will come little by little... There are a lot of new worlds since there are so many Disney titles that haven't appeared yet. As for familiar worlds and characters, you can expect that the locations will be completely, the visuals will be different. --Are the plans for KH3 to utilize the DUALSHOCK 4 functions? Nomura: Like Final Fantasy XV, KH3 is being developed in DirectX 11, so in what ways it will use the PS4's functions hasn't been decided concretely yet. Right now we're in a stage where we are making note of the hardware and it'll become clearer in the future. When I have an idea, I think how about we use the DUALSHOCK 4 touch pad? So I think I'd use it in some form, but right now nothing is decided. --Are you thinking about corresponding functions with tablets or the PS Vita? Nomura: Naturally I'm considering external devices, but I'm still thinking of ideas right now. --Many things can be realized with the PS4, but there seems to be a lot of troubling things too. Nomura: I suppose so. Ideas I think are original are already being realized by other makers, so we are waiting to see what they do, but it's also nerve wracking. So far I've made games on a variety of hardware, but since I want put in as many elements as I can, I have a lot to think about. Because there are various possibilities, I want to make the kinda games that stand out as interesting. --As someone who has seen the generation changes of many systems, what about the PS4 has impacted you? Nomura: I thought it was overkill. (laughs) As expected I gradually accepted it and then I wanted one. (laughs) Players are swelling with expectations, but to make something suitable for this system, this is a hurdle that developers must overcome. The things you can do have increased immensely, so once you start broadening the possibilities, it doesn't end, the possibilities just grow. You're pressed to choose what ideas to keep and what to toss. The announcement at E3 has passed, and I am still feeling the huge response that KH3 received. Everyone was so happy in that moment, I'm challenged by how I'll live up to that expectation with this title. It's a big challenge when you have this system where the power of expression is so high. There have been a variety of systems so far, but I feel like this one is the greatest mountain to overcome. --Not just in Japan, but fans around the world are waiting. Nomura: The mountain is being exceeded so far. I think we'll be able to do something, I believe in my staff. --So are the Final Fantasy XV team and Kingdom Hearts 3 team influencing each other in any way? Nomura: Well, when they see the other team, they get inspired by the great things they see, but that's because that's how things were created in the Square era. KH3's development started later, so it's not as far along, but I think that it's good motivation. --By the way, we'll see the end of the Dark Seeker Saga in KH3, but what will happen after that? Nomura: Kingdom Hearts is a Disney title, so I can't speak for them, but naturally, in my own mind I have ideas about what happens after KH3. About characters, and developments. Maybe sometime there will be a chance to talk about that, but rather than thinking out the concrete details regarding that, right now my first priority is completing KH3. I want to put out KH3 quickly. --We're looking forward to it. Alright, any last messages for the viewers? Nomura: Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 were for PS2 and we skipped the PS3 and now we are releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 onto PS4. The power of expression has increased drastically, and from the developments accumulated so far, even the gameplay by itself, I think that it's become something with depth. So that the day fans can experience it for themselves, we are all working are hardest, so please look forward to the next update.
  18. Earlier, it was announced that series director Tetsuya Nomura would discuss Kingdom Hearts III on the playstationjp YouTube channel, as part of their 'Conversations with Creators' series. Today, this video has finally been uploaded, and it can be seen below. It features footage from both Kingdom Hearts III trailers, as well as an interview with Nomura in Japanese. Famitsu.com have published a full transcript of the interview. We will have a full, proper translation of this interview up ASAP. Until then, enjoy! Update 1: @sqexgal has translated a detailed summary of Nomura's points in the interview, and this summary can be read below. Stay tuned for a full translation! Update 2: @sqexgal has now done a complete translation of the interview, and this full translation can be read here. With a very big thanks to her, enjoy!
  19. Earlier at D23 Expo Japan, Kingdom Hearts III appeared with an all-new gameplay trailer, showing off new abilities, attacks and enemies from the game. This trailer has now been released online, and it can be seen below in 720p. Enjoy! Update 1: Disney Japan have uploaded the Japanese version of the trailer in 1080p. This can be seen below. Update 2: goldpanner has translated all of the command windows appearing in this gameplay trailer, and these translations can be seen below. Images are thanks to Water Block. Roll Splash Jump Off Attack Magic Item Summon Raid Ride Jump Dodge Get Off Update 3: Tealgamemaster and Zimfan506 have together created a detailed analysis of the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer, pointing out many things that you may not have noticed. We think this is worth a watch, so check it out below.
  20. The latest issue of Famitsu Weekly, releasing on October 24, 2013, has contained an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses both Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, revealing new details about the upcoming titles. Although the full interview has not yet appeared online, @aibo_ac7 has been supplying major details from the interview, and SQEX.INFO have translated these details. This can be read below. - We’re doing our best to brush up Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 as much as possible, even more than 1.5. - The Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer showed in game footage, but it’s not in a condition where viewers can fully grasp it. We’re going to improve the quality much more still. - In the trailer you see 3 of Sora’s new moves, and they demonstrate the 2 attack systems. First is Keyblade transformation, and second is the Disney attraction inspired moves. - The Keyblade transformations will vary for each different Keyblade, their styles as well. - Attractions are an evolution of KH3D’s Flowmotion. You can choose which move you want to use against enemies on the spot. - Even during an enemy outbreak, Sora’s attacks perform naturally. These new actions are just a fraction of Kingdom Hearts 3‘s new components. Update: SQEX.INFO have translated the full interview segment, and this translation can be read below. It’s a privilege to be apart of today’s event, the first D23 Expo Japan. The last time I stood in front of fans was for the premier presentation of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, so it’s been a long time. I was moved by everyone’s excited response. If I have the chance I’d like to do this sort of thing again. I wanted to put out the information for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 and Kingdom Hearts 3 quickly for those who couldn’t attend, so we made the trailers public online. Since they’re both still in production, the trailers are short, but I hope that fans enjoy them. We are brushing up Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 even more that 1.5, even the staff is doing their best to improve it as much as possible. Also, this is the first time that KH3 was shown using in-engine footage, but it’s not in a condition where viewers can fully grasp it. We’re going to improve the quality much more still after this. In the trailer you see 3 of Sora’s new moves, and they demonstrate the 2 attack systems, the first being Keyblade transformation. The Keyblade transformation is different for each Keyblade, and the battle style changes as well. The second is the Disney attraction inspired Attraction Flow. Attraction Flow is an evolution of Kingdom Hearts 3D’s Flowmotion. With Attraction Flow, you can choose which move you want to use against which enemies on the spot, and even during an enemy outbreak you control Sora’s attacks. These new actions are just a fraction of Kingdom Hearts 3′s new components, so please wait for information hereafter.
  21. Update: The trailer is now live! Square Enix have announced that the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer from D23 Expo Japan will be online at 11PM PDT. This is less than 3 hours away! (Check the time of this post.) The trailer will feature all-new gameplay, including new abilities, attacks and enemies from the game. The thumbnails of this currently private YouTube video are already available, and they can be seen below. Enjoy!
  22. Update: Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding and Utada Hikaru's father interpreted the question wrong. It is currently undecided whether or not Utada will be returning for Kingdom Hearts III.
  23. Today at D23 Expo Japan, Kingdom Hearts III appeared with an all-new trailer, showing off the game. Although this trailer has not yet appeared online, attendees of the event have been sharing their impressions, and @sqexgal has been translating them. These details can be read below. - The new KH3 trailer shows something like attractions, a train summon like the electrical parade? Also fighting the Rock titan. - Movements on screen are really dynamic. Just as beautiful as expected for the PS4. - I also noticed a scene where it looked like a Keyblade variation where Sora dual shooting 2 guns. - Sora's new attack! Disney attractions! In the new trailer, you see the pirate ship from Peter Pan, but it's lit up like in the Electrical Parade! - Fighting Heartless and the Rock Titan in Traverse Town. Sora is in front of the electrical parade attraction like boat, attacking. The Rock Titan line gradually appears in front of the electric parade coaster. It seems to attack by spinning around the Titan. - They already said that KH3 uses an exclusive tool called Kingdom Shader, but seeing it, it's really amazing! Sora's hair sways naturally, his expression is soft and realistic, his caricature is portrayed beautifully. I want this trailer to be released immediately! - On the scene where Sora wields 2 guns, it seems that the guns are related to an attraction with the little green men. リトルグリーンメン is what the little green men in Toy Story are called officially in Japanese, so maybe we have Toy Story confirmed. Maybe. - It goes without saying that the action is great, but even flames appear really realistic! I can't wait to see what the magic will look like from here on out! - The special attraction attack used against Rock Titan is the Electric Parade like roller coaster you can ride! It looks a lot like the Big Thunder Mountain attraction from Disneyland. Donald and Goofy are secured by the safety bar, lol. - Also, there was a scene where the Keyblade transformed into 2 guns. - The KH3 trailer we've been waiting for centered on a battle scene with Sora Donald and Goofy in Traverse Town. It looked like Sora was using Aqua's Magic Wish command style. Lastly, the Keyblade separated and was held in both hands, shooting balls of light. - Then the scene changes and we see Sora operating a boat like in an amusement park. Probably Peter Pan. It looks like the night version of the float that Peter Pan rides in the Disneyland Jubilation parade. - The next scene looks like Big Thunder Mountain from Disneyland. You attack while riding on top of a shining coaster as the tracks surround Rock Titan, sending him spinning. Finally, Sora and co get off the coaster as it crashes into the Titan. - This trailer seems to show practical in game footage judging by the movement conditions. The motif this time was the attractions of Disney. The latest KH3 trailer was only battle scenes that confirm the appearance of Sora and Riku. Look forward to Roxas, Ven, and the rest from here on out. A new trailer showing off the past games in the Kingdom Hearts series was also shown, and the details of this trailer are below, again thanks to @sqexgal. - The compilation trailer shows memorable scenes. Lastly the line "To you, wherever you are in this world", followed by Keyblade/key confetti. - The compilation trailer included flashback scenes of hugs, handshakes, arm grabs, Keyblade succession, head pats, etc. Very heartwarming. Xion, Namine, and Vanitas also appeared. Lastly, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX was announced at the event. Make sure you check out this article below.
  24. D23 Expo Japan is an event taking place from October 12-14, 2013. Here, the Kingdom Hearts series will be featured, with Kingdom Hearts III confirmed to appear, and likely to be receiving new footage. Our coverage of D23 Expo Japan has begun. Keep checking back for more info. Photos Gamer have posted an article about the Kingdom Hearts Limited Stage, and with the article, shared many phots of the event. These can all be seen below. Monday, October 14, 2013 The Kingdom Hearts Limited Stage has begun! We will provide live updates here, so keep checking back. The event goes for 1 hour in total, so stay tuned. All times below are in JST. (With thanks to @aibo_ac7, @sqexgal & @shinkansen3000) 15:00 - The event has begun! 3D Keyblade holograms are being shown, with the Keyblades rotating. The χ-blade is one Keyblade shown. Mickey Mouse is on the screen, with a trailer introducing the past Kingdom Hearts games showing. 15:05 - Disney's CEO is on-stage. Past KH games are being shown. 15:10 - Kingdom Hearts III info is coming soon! Tetsuya Nomura and Shinji Hashimoto are on-stage. 15:14 - The Kingdom Hearts series has shipped over 20 million units worldwide! 15:16 - They are showing early artwork of Sora on the screen. Originally, Sora's pants were orange. 15:18 - They are showing a new trailer about the early stages of the Kingdom Hearts series! 15:24 - Hashimoto is going over the history of KH. Kingdom Hearts III is announced, and χ[chi] is now being discussed. New world(s) and scenarios are coming to Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]. 15:27 - Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX has been officially announced. HD 2.5 ReMIX will release in 2014, and will contain Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. 15:50 - They are showing a Kingdom Hearts III trailer now! It looks much higher quality that the E3 2013 trailer. Sora and Riku are definitely appearing in KH3. Look forward to Roxas. In the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer, you are riding on a boat with attractions like Disneyland. Trailer is like you are playing the game. More details soon. Upcoming announcements Most Kingdom Hearts announcements at the event will occur within the "Kingdom Hearts Limited Stage", an event on October 14 at 3PM JST. A countdown to this event is above. Here, Kingdom Hearts III information and footage is likely to appear. Nomura has also mentioned his wishes to make another announcement on the stage (quote below | full interview here). Could this be Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX? We'll find out soon. Nomura : Regarding D23 Expo Japan, this is the first time that Disney holds such an event outside the U.S., so it is a great honor for us to be invited. I’m very happy that we have the opportunity to hold a special conference for Kingdom Hearts. I really want to make a surprise announcement for this event but it is currently under discussion, so we’ll see (laughs). Since we announced Kingdom Hearts III at E3, we cannot make another announcement for the same game. Instead we will announce something else, which you will see soon enough. Saturday, October 12, 2013 Update 1: An exclusive drawing of Sora, signed by Tetsuya Nomura, is being auctioned off at the event. @luce10wa & @hinako1014 have uploaded a photo of this, and it can be seen below. Update 2: In a speech from Bob Iger, Walt Disney Company CEO, Kingdom Hearts was mentioned, with reference to the Kingdom Hearts event at D23 Expo Japan occurring on October 14, 2013. (Source: @aibo_ac7)
  25. Earlier, it was announced that series director Tetsuya Nomura would discuss Kingdom Hearts III on the playstationjp YouTube channel, as part of their 'Conversations with Creators' series. Today, Play Community have shared new details about the video-- @bKvEBVAvUq has shared these details, and thanks to goldpanner for translations, this can be read below. Hello everyone!! Play Community Admin here. Conversations with Creators is a video series in which we interview the creators of the PlayStation 4 titles that have been revealed so far. Before the video goes public on the Play Community blog, just our Play Community registered members get the next new info early! The next episode of Conversations with Creators is, once again, Tetsuya Nomura, director of Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts III! He gave us a perspective on the PS4 and on this title that was different yet again from his Final Fantasy XV video that went up the other day. He gave us a comment especially for the members of Play Community to see before the video releases. Take a look. ------ I still don't have much information on KHIII that I can release to the public, but I spoke to the extent I was able. Please enjoy the interview, along with part of the new clip that will be released at the event this month. ------- We hope you enjoyed this new info, please look forward to the interview video! Nomura's bolded quote above seems to imply that his 'Conversations with Creators' interview will contain part of a new clip that will be released at the Kingdom Hearts event at D23 Expo Japan, which occurs in a few days time. Stay tuned, as it won't be long before we know exactly what is shown.